Savoring the Flavor at The Mesquitery & The Shed

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Customers enjoy drinks and Amazing Flavors at the Mesquitery & Shed

Taste of the Town: The Mesquitery & The Shed
Written by Angie Helvey, Contributing Writer | Photos by Henry Schifter

Hood River is known as Portland’s backyard and has lots to offer, whether it’s basking in the fantastic views of Mt. Hood, windsurfing at the beach, perusing the locally owned shops or exploring the many delicious dining options. Open since 1988, The Mesquitery & The Shed is recognized as the best in Hood River by locals and travelers alike, famous for their mouth-watering mesquite-grilled steaks.

Chef and owner Krzysztof “Kris” Ukleja migrated to the United States from Poland in 1996 and worked in Hood River at another restaurant before he and three partners purchased the Mesquitery in 2001. They eventually parted ways, and Kris has been the sole owner since 2018, currently running the restaurant with his longtime manager Monika Kiezik.

Serving the best steak is a huge priority at The Mesquitery. They make most of their own cuts of Black Angus beef, and the menu includes New York, Porterhouse, Top Sirloin, Prime Rib, Beef Cheeks and Ribeye. All steaks are mesquite-seasoned and cooked to perfection on an open-flame grill that guests can view as they enter the restaurant or even from their table. More recently, Kris has been offering dry-aged cuts. “The flavor profile is amazing,” he says. “It’s more common in fancy steakhouses like in Vegas and Los Angeles, and they charge a lot for them. Ours are just slightly more expensive, and it’s worth it.”

Though The Mesquitery is known for steak, the menu encompasses much more. The tasty and popular seafood dishes include parmesan-crusted halibut and mesquite-grilled salmon and prawns. Other mains like BBQ ribs are always a favorite, and barbecue pork tenderloin and Malibu chicken. Remember to pick your sides! Choose from a list of appetizing accompaniments like a loaded baked potato, cheesy garlic bread or steamed vegetables, and add as many as you like. “It’s a very popular way of ordering food at our place,” says Kris. “You can be the designer of your meal.” Guests can also select from tasty appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and pastas. Kris sprinkles a few Polish dishes throughout the menu, like chicken schnitzel and pierogies, which are dumplings stuffed with potatoes and cheese and served with sautéed onions. Desserts are primarily homemade, with several delectable choices like hot apple crisp and lava cake. A kid’s menu is available for the little ones.

Pair your pierogies with a Polish beer — it has a unique style all its own! Several European beers and local brews are available, draft and bottled. They’ve also recently added to their wine selection, many made right in Hood River, and the cocktail menu changes seasonally. Non-alcoholic drinks include soft drinks, teas, milkshakes and hot apple cider.

The atmosphere at The Mesquitery is casual and family-friendly, and the staff are warm and attentive. Pick where you’d like to sit, depending on your mood. If you want a more intimate experience, hop over to the cozy lounge next door, The Shed, and order off The Mesquitery’s menu. If the weather’s nice, relax on the beautiful outdoor patio and enjoy a cold drink. If you sit in the restaurant, peek at the steaks fired behind glass. “Most tables have a view of the cooks grilling and working in the kitchen,” says Kris.

The Mesquitery has a loyal community following, which is no surprise because the food and customer service are consistently excellent, but they also welcome many tourists, especially during the summer months. Ask any local: This is the place to go if you’re looking for a succulent steak or good, fresh seafood in Hood River.

The Mesquitery is located at 1219 12th St. in Hood River. Check out their menu and website at, or give them a call at (541) 386-2002.